Summer is almost over (FML), but there are a few summer makeup trends that I'll be taking with me into fall. The one I'm most excited about is "sunburn blush," the blushing technique that promises to leave skin glowing like you just got home from the beach. It involves over-applying blush on the cheeks, nose, and forehead. Many celebrities like Emily Ratajakowski, Hailey Bieber, and Billie Eilish have been seen with sunburn blush lately, and although the technique is nothing new, it's had a recent revival thanks to TikTok. The hashtag #sunburnblush now has millions of views and counting, and the app is filled with videos of people recreating the look for themselves.
"This specific look is great as it provides that fresh-faced, sun-kissed look in minutes without the need to tan under the sun's harmful UV rays," Kale Teter, celebrity makeup artist and Sheglam partner says. Personally, I'm a big fan of the sun-kissed look, but I am not a fan of sun damage. I wear tons of sunscreen every single time I'm in the sun, especially on my face and neck. As I've gotten older my skin has become more prone to dark spots (that I used to think were "cute" freckles), and they are all but impossible to get rid of. Plus, if I even think about letting my lips see the light of day, they immediately burn, which in some cases turns to blisters and hurts like a MF.
So, although I love the "just got home from a tropical vacation" look, I usually have to fake it in order to avoid doing unnecessary damage to my skin. Luckily, faking it is easy, and just comes down to the right blush and placement. "Achieving this look is very easy and has maximum impact," she says. "Just dab one to two dots of a blush on both the apples of the cheeks and across the bridge of the nose. From there, using a blush brush or your fingers, gently blend and tap the blush into the skin until you have achieved your desired, natural sunkissed look."
To get the sunburned look for myself, I typically start out by exfoliating my face the night before and using a facial self-tanner. Since I don't ever put my face in the sun, it's usually an entirely different color than the rest of my body, and using a tanning product helps even everything out. I'm a big fan of the Lux Unfiltered Bronzing Face Drops ($46) (check out my full review here) because even though I have acne-prone skin, they don't break me out, and give me a nice, even, all-over glow without any splotches.
The next day, I start my fake sun-burn routine by doing my skin-care routine as I normally would, and then I apply a small amount of tinted moisturizer. When it's time to add blush, I take my blush of choice, the Merit Flush Balm ($28) and place dots high on my cheeks, the bridge of my nose, and my forehead. (Teter recommends the Color Bloom Liquid Blush from Sheglam, so what you use comes down to personal preference.) Using my fingers, I make sure to almost blend the blush from each cheek and over the nose together, so that it looks like I have one line of sunburn right under where my sunglasses would end.
I've been doing this trend almost every time I do my makeup, and I always get a ton of compliments about how my skin looks "lit from within." (Except for my mother, who continually asks if I've been wearing enough sunscreen because my face looks a little red.) I've tested this look with tons of different blushes, and I've found that cream and gel blushes are typically the best formulas to use. They blend out easily and look the most natural, IMO.
I've found that you can achieve the sunburned look with almost any shade of pinkish-red blush, but my favorite has to be the Merit Flush Balm Cream in Terracota because it looks extremely natural on my skin tone. If you're someone who wants to achieve a sun-kissed look without ever having to put your face in the sun, definitely give this trend a try – it's a total game changer.